By Rob Sauerhaft
Monday, February 19, 2007

Callaway Forged Wedges

SPECS: Forged from soft 1020 carbon steel, with computer-milled faces and U-grooves. Two options -- satin chrome (copper-nickel) and "Vintage" (unchromed) -- come in 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, and 60° lofts. The unchromed heads will rust.

 

Photographer: Bob Grier
Bob Grier

WHO IT'S FOR: All handicap levels.

WHY BUY: These scoring clubs were sculpted by Roger Cleveland, one of the game's pre-eminent wedge designers. This is a significant debut: It marks the first time in seven years that he's brought a classically styled wedge to market; it also represents the first Callaway club since the late 1980s to feature a traditional hosel. The narrow flange, classic shape, and soft feel all drip of a Cleveland creation. He's even added a few wrinkles: A head smaller than comparable-looking wedges, plenty of "trailing edge relief at the heel and toe" for added versatility, a steel shaft with a soft tip for improved feel, and a built-up lower part of the grip for better control when you choke down.

PRICE: Chrome: $140 (steel shaft); Vintage: $150 (steel)

INFO: 800-228-2767, www.callawaygolf.com

Srixon Pro UR ball

SPECS: Multilayer ball with a urethane cover, solid core, and rubber layer between core and cover.

 

Photographer: Bob Grier
Bob Grier

WHO IT'S FOR: Players who swing 90 mph and faster and want a medium-high trajectory ball that delivers low spin off the driver, relatively high spin off short irons, and medium feel.

WHY BUY: This ball launches slightly higher than its brethren, the Hi-Brid Tour. More importantly, the company believes the solid rubber boundary layer between the core and cover makes this a better ball than urethane-covered, multilayer balls with ionomer (plastic) boundary layers. Srixon officials say the rubber adds resiliency so golfers hit it farther with the big clubs, and it softens feel so players get better distance control with the scoring clubs. The core -- softest in the middle, gradually firmer toward the outside -- also contributes to these playing characteristics.

PRICE: $40 (dozen)

INFO: 888-477-4966, {C}www.srixon.com{C}

Cleveland Launcher 400 driver

SPECS: This 400 cc head comes in 7.5°, 8.5°, 9.5°, and 10.5° lofts, with 65-gram graphite shaft in "S" and "X" flex, 55-gram shaft in "A" and "R" flex.

 

Photographer: Bob Grier{C}
Bob Grier

WHO IT'S FOR: All handicap levels.

WHY BUY: Company says this club delivers the maximum allowable trampoline effect -- it conforms to the USGA's .83 coefficient of restitution limit -- without "going dead" (the face flattening) after repeated use. The secret is the SP-700 titanium face, enhanced by a heat-treatment process that increases durability. This massive head has a high moment of inertia, meaning minimal loss of distance and accuracy on off-center hits. For added forgiveness, the oversize .350-inch shaft tip stabilizes the head. Lastly, as lofts get stronger, the center of gravity moves up, for a more boring flight.

PRICE: $399 (graphite shaft)

INFO: 800-999-6263, www.clevelandgolf.com

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